Keeping track of what your children are looking at online is a dilemma that many parents face. However, wireless routers made for home use, such as those made by Linksys and Belkin, often contain built-in parental controls to help with this task. Controlling Internet services gives you the power to protect your children from harmful websites and the disciplinary authority to block the Internet if necessary.
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Enter the IP (Internet protocol) address of your wireless router into your Internet browser and press "Enter" to get to the administration page. Routers sold for use in the home use IP addresses such as "192.168.1.1" or a similar address. Type in the username and password for the wireless router's administration page.
Click on the Access Restrictions section of your wireless router's administration page. The Access Restrictions sections allows you to set parental controls such as blocking specific websites, services, or even Internet connections altogether.
Set the basic policy information. Choose an Internet access policy number and enter a name for it. Click "Enable" on the Status section to make sure the policy will be in effect when saved. Edit the physical MAC address of each computer for which you want the parental control policy to apply. Select "Deny" or "Allow" to indicate whether you want Internet access blocked or allowed.
Select the specific days and hours of the week during which the policy will be in force. Some parents may want to block Internet access for computers altogether during evening hours or restrict its use during the times when the parent is away.
Scroll down to the website and services blocking section of the policy's settings. Enter the website URL addresses for specific sites that you want to block. Alternatively, block websites by entering keywords. For example, "Facebook" can be entered to block any website that has the keyword "Facebook" in its name or content. Choose the specific services, if applicable, that you want blocked for the policy. For example, POP3 and SMTP block common Internet e-mail services.
Click on Save Settings when finished entering policy information. Repeat the process of naming, configuring and saving each parental control policy you want to set.
Tips and warnings
- Find your router's IP address if using a Windows operating system by opening the Command Prompt, entering "ipconfig /all," and looking for the "Default Gateway" number.
- Many computers' MAC addresses can be found by opening Network and Internet Connections and looking in the Properties dialogue box.
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